Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathematical And Physical Papers - Iii"

See other formats

absorb the rays by which the band was produced. Although the dispersion continued throughout the whole of the visible spectrum and beyond, it was comparatively feeble in the brightest part of the spectrum. It became pretty copious again in the neighbourhood of the dark band No. 4, arid remained copious throughout the blue and violet. In the green, the dispersed light was red, slightly verging towards orange, and in the blue and violet it was red verging a little towards brown.
58. It may seem superfluous, after what precedes, to bring forward any further proof of the reality of a change of refrangi-bility. Nevertheless the following experiment, which was in fact performed at an early stage of these researches, may not be deemed wholly unworthy of notice, as not involving the use either of absorbing media or of false dispersion.
A small narrow triangle of white paper was stuck on to the outside of the vessel containing the leaf-green, in such a manner that its axis was vertical, and its vertex, which was uppermost, was situated at the height of the middle of the spectrum. A narrow vertical slit was then placed at the distance of the image of the first slit, where the fixed lines were formed, and moved sideways till the light immediately beside the fixed line 0 passed through it. The vessel was then placed a few inches behind the slit, and moved sideways till the riband-shaped beam of homogeneous light, which passed through the second slit, was incident on the vertex of the triangle. On looking at the vessel from the front, as nearly as was convenient in the direction of the incident light, there appeared a bright vertical bar corresponding to a section of the incident beam. This bar was of two colours, namely, red in the upper half, where the light fell on the fluid, and indigo in the under half, where it fell on the paper. On refracting the whole system sideways, through a prism of moderate angle applied to the eye, the objects appeared in the following order as regards refrangibility. First came the upper half of the bright bar, which was only a very little widened by refraction, so that it consisted of red light which was approximately homogeneous. Next came the triangle, with its vertex a little rounded, and its edges tinged with prismatic colours. The vertex, which had formerly coincided with the bright bar, now lay a little to one s. in.                                                                        20